From 2007 to 2011, 70 percent of the jobs lost in the state and local public sector were jobs held by women. This amounts to roughly 765,000 jobs. Since 2011, we have continued to see public-sector job losses, and, unfortunately, it is a good bet that the declines will continue.
The Obama administration has provided aid to state and local government in a variety of ways. For example, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) injected more than $180 billion into state and local government. This aid has helped preserve significant numbers of jobs held by women. Women can be found in all types of public-sector jobs, but they are overrepresented in the public sector, in part, because they are more likely to be teachers. So far, $90 billion from ARRA has gone to education.
Out of a desire to appeal to women voters, Mitt Romney’s campaign has been making misleading statements about President Obama’s record. One way for Romney to show legitimate support for working women is to promise that, if elected, he will provide ample federal aid to state and local government. Unfortunately, Romney’s current commitment to shrink government means that he will put even more women out of work.